Published: Genocide and the Benevolence of ‘The Beekeeper’ (PopMatters)

My review of Iraqi-American award-winning journalist and poet Dunya Mikhail's nonfiction about the Yazidi genocide in Iraq is up at PopMatters. 'The Beekeeper: Saving the Stolen Women of Iraq' is an important book because so much of this kind of news gets drowned out in the other daily inanities of he-said-she-said in both news & social media. It's due out on March 27th and is a mix of reportage, memoir (Mikhail herself had to flee Iraq due to threats from the Saddam Hussain government), and some verse. Not an easy read and I explain why in the review.

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5 short stories

Top Five Short Story Reads From February 2017

Over the past month, I focused on writers from the seven countries that were/are on the US Travel Ban list. Most of them are, of course, Arabic language writers, so I am thankful to be able to find English translations free online. I got the idea from Asymptote Journal's project to collect writing from these banned countries. Their special feature issue, with at least two stories from each, will be out in April 2017. Though the list below is rather male-centric -- because we are dealing, mostly, with highly patriarchal cultures -- I have searched harder to get some women writers too. So here are stories from: Goli Taraghi (Iran); Hassan Blasim (Iraq); Hisham Matar (Libya); Nuruddin Farah (Somalia); Leila Aboulela (Sudan); Zakaria Tamer (Syria); and Nadia Al-Kokabany (Yemen).